“You’ve No Time For Us!” : Friends say I have changed after motherhood

How much does your relationship with friends change post a baby. Are you the same any more?

The perfect mom – isn’t that what it always is about? The ‘perfect’ is everywhere you look; the pressure to be perfect is in every aspect of life. But is ‘perfect’ real? Is the photo of the mom who’s rocking her baby, her beautiful curly hair flowing in the wind, both baby and mom smiling at each other, silhouetted against a setting sun, amid a field filled with gorgeous daisies – is that photo real?

Here:

(a) I have not washed my hair in the past 4 days, (it is a new grunge look I am sporting; goes well with my crumpled tees), and
(b) There are no daisy fields around me.

So, I am guessing that photo is not real and all it does is make me feel bad. Truth is, motherhood is the most blissful period of my life but it is the toughest too! It is a juggling act wherein you are constantly trying to keep all the balls in the air and the balls have a mind of their own. As new mothers, we read a lot, are advised a lot, prepare a lot… but nothing can actually make us ready for what is in store. You go in with a lot of preparation, yet you actually learn on the job.

Once you become a mother, your relationships change too. The most important person in your life now is a small human, who does not come with an instruction manual, is very unpredictable, and mostly sleeps but for short periods of time. After becoming a mother my priorities and my capabilities changed. My friends felt that I was changing, and yes I was. I was no longer the perfectly turned out, fashionably dressed girl with the latest designer bag in hand (one within my budget), ready to go out on a moment’s notice in my ridiculously high heels…

The perfectly turned out feature was lost somewhere in my third trimester when my transition from human to waddling penguin was complete. The fashionable dresses changed to clothes that would fit me now, would be easy to wear, and could survive constant spit ups, and a lot of wiggling and pulling. Oh, I have tried wearing fashionable blouses, with frills, boat necks, layered ones…But trust me, it gets really difficult when you have a toddler who thinks it is absolutely normal to hang from and pull down mom’s dresses necklines! Now I stick to tees and yoga pants almost entirely. The designer bag is filled with sanitisers, diapers, wipes and snacks with an odd toy or two. And heels, you say?

So what about going out with, or talking to, friends? Do I get to do it?

Read it further  On WOM, were I originally wrote this :

Real Moms Real Stories

Going out ; how it looks like post a baby & Review of Fisher Price High Chair 

Review of Fisher Price High chair and the scenes of evenings out after baby

What do your evenings look like after becoming a mom? These are our Weekend scenes. After a tiring day my little moppet fell asleep during dinner. Life sure has changed in the last year and a half for us.

 Dinners out are way different than what they used to be. There are no more relaxing conversations over some yummy food, rather, now it is trying to keep the toddler engaged and happy. Though the second part is pretty easy as baby A is very happy to go out. He enjoys it a lot. But keeping him engaged is another thing.

 Also having a super active toddler around means that we never ever travel without our high chair. Most restaurants have high chairs available, and I make it a point to call ahead and ask that. If they dont provide one, we carry ours along. 

I have been using the @fisherprice 4 In 1 High chair and it is one more thing I am happy to have bought. It converts into a portable high chair which is very easy to carry along in our car. Without a high chair, we cannot hope to dine out with baby A.  I really like this chair as 

  1. It has 4 features, 
  2. can be used as a high chair 
  3. a booster seat, which is portable and easy to carry
  4. later on this can be used as a table and chair for the toddler to sit and read at
  5. The tray is large 
  6. The fabric part comes off easily and is machine washable
  7. It is very sturdy, trust me, baby A shakes and  behaves like a mini tornado at times, while sitting on it but he is unable to budge it a bit 
  8. You can see the pic below, and it is available on @amazonindia

Here is the link; http://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/B00TH5AMAW/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491548862&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_QL70&keywords=fisherprice+high+chair&dpPl=1&dpID=41kUcfranRL&ref=plSrch


The second challenge is keeping all the cutlery away from him and also hiding all types of glasses from him. He is in that phase where he wants to imitate all of the things that we do, and thus refuses to drink water from his sippy cup and insists on drinking it from our tumblers. He is getting very good at it too. Eating with a spoon is a little distant yet though, thus we end up having a lot of spilled food around 🙈. He does not let us feed him and has to do it on his own. Thus Eating doesn’t happen that much. 

There are a couple of things I ensure to do when we go out

1. Go to a place which allows babies and also ensure it is not too crowded and loud. Though i want him to get familiar with outside environment but I don’t think he needs his dose of live music and bar crowd just right now. We prefer the little less crowded places. 

2. I remove all cutlery from his reach, as mentioned earlier. I also carry his spoon and sippy cup. The restaurant cutlery is sometikes heavy and not suitable for a child. 

3. Carry loads of wipes, and sanitiser of course is always in my bag. Wipe his hands down, wipe down everything around him as he may decide to pick it up and put it in his mouth. And sanitise our hands before eating. Though I will prefer washing hands anyday before sanitising. But sometimes it is not possible so much

4. We generally choose a seat which is a little secluded or in the corner and is confortable. So that he can jump around and we are at peace and can let him be him

5. Baby A loves spaghetti and noodles, so the 1st thing we order is that. Inask them to make it with very little seasoning and spices, most restaurants will oblige and prepare the dish as per your instructions. Ask them to make something simple which your baby likes. 

6. We put him on his high chair and let him eat on his own. It can be messy i agree but he surprises me with the way he handles his food. Awww moment there 

7. All the food we order is alway instructed to have less spices and no chilly. As baby A does end up tasting and eating our food.  And i let him eat whatever he likes. It is important to let hom explore new tastes. Continental food has a lot of grilled and steamed options and it is easier to feed it to baby A. He loves it.

8. I do not let him have outside water yet, not even mineral water. And carry his water.

9. I carry some of his fav snacks in my bag, just in case if he refuses all the food. A hungry baby will be hard to manage and you cant eat if he is hungry. So it is for emergencies, generally i carry , whole wheat biscuits or home made nimkins and a bottle of milk

9. A change of clothes for him and extra diapers. You need to be prepared just in case 😊

But as I was saying, the dinner scenes have changed a lot, both of us are busy entertaining the baby and don’t really get to talk that much. And the focus is also on feeding him. And then if he wants to get out of the high chair, which he does after some amount of time, then trying to eat with him squiggling in your lap is an effort worth an award. Well in those cases, we give in and put on a video for him 🙈🙊. Go ahead judge away, I don’t mind, We want to have our dinner in peace and this way we can, so there it is. I don’t mind a little bit of screen time, if it is the only way to keep him engaged at times when we are outside sitting at some place. 

This pic was taken when he fell asleep during dinner, he was tired after running around the mall. How do your evening scenes look like post a baby, have they changed? Do share any tips if you have to make the evenings smoother when going out with a kid. Would love to read some tips 😊

How to decorate a toddler’s play room without spending a ton; some DIY ideas 

This is baby A’s play room. When we moved to this new place and I had a spare room, I was super happy as I knew I could turn it into a play room exclusively for baby A. But since he is very young yet, we don’t need any proper furniture really for him,( table chairs, beds etc) as we co-sleep. So, I had to come up with some DIY ideas to decorate his room. So here is what all went in decorating his room:

on the walls : Danglers. I did danglers on baby A’s birthday with photos from each month of his first year. Photos from each month along with a little small write up about that month, are part of each dangler. And then i used ribbons to weave them together. Some glitter paper and number cutouts make them cuter and these are a permanent keepsake that now adorn the walls and make the memories easy to cherish


Decals on the walls : I found some really cute decals on @amazonindia . I bought some Animal decals and train decals as both are baby A’s fav. He loves pointing out to all the animals and to the train pictures. He can now correctly point out all the animals when asked, including butterflies 😊, thus these turned out to be a great way to teach him animals too 😊Here is a link to the decal I bought from Amazon : http://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/B00OPYNS88/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1491332020&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_QL70&keywords=animal+decal&dpPl=1&dpID=51zlncRMofL&ref=plSrch


The shelf on the floor which has his toys, is made out of cardboard boxes, colourful wrapping paper and a hot glue gun. How I made these DIY Shelves are on my other blog post , you can chexk it out at this link; 

Once done, I used wicker baskets to store his toys on the shelves. I spent less than 100 Rs in total and had a great handmade shelf ready which is the perfect place to store his toys. And i did not need to invest in another piece of furniture / shelf for it. Win win. Point to note, I had to use a separate round cardboard cylindrical pipe in the middle of each shelf to reinforce the shelves else they would collapse in the middle. You can see it if you look closely. 

Tip: where to find such cylindrical cardboard pipes 😳? I used the hollow pipes that came with the decals I ordered and cut them according to my need. 💃. It was good they came packaged like that . 


A floor bed makes the room complete for baby to sit on and play, ( he doesn’t sit though) as also a place for all his teddies to lounge on. 

⏺I have also kept his play pen in the room, which he loves. He loves playing inside it and sometimes just takes his toys and sits inside the playpen. He also loves his rocker which I have kept in his room and sits on it with a book in hand when he feels like it. 

Here are a few ideas to deck up a toddler’s play room.

 1) Baby proof :  the area, cover up sockets, corners, edges, remove unstable furniture, it should be safe for baby. 

2) Decide on the type of decor you want, keep a lot of floor area free, just put a mattress / play mat for baby to play on. You can also put in a low bed or a baby cot.

3) Photos of baby: they are the best idea to deck up a baby’s room, frame them, hang them with a tape, hang them weaved on a string, whatever you want. These will brighten the room instantly and are a great way to cherish all those baby memories 

4) Fancy yet low cost deco : some low cost things you can use to brighten up the room are fairy lights, shimmer / net cloth/ dupatta / stole pieces, make sure that they are away from baby though and do not pose a hazard for her, hang these high and fix them properly.

 5) Wall Art : Get on the net and download some cute pics, depending on your theme, eg disney characters for a princess theme, animals for a safari theme, print these and paste on cardboard / foam, and paste these on the wall with a double sided tape. Cover them first with cling sheets,  if you want longevity, else you can also easily get decals online.

 6) Wicker baskets/ storage boxes : Get some baskets Or make a shelf like I did to store baby’s toys. You need to keep the toys organised and for that yoh will need boxes

7) Play Mat : get a play mat too, but it is not needed if you want to put in a mattress, with play mat the room will be easier to clean though. Be sure to leave as much of floor area as possible for baby to play around, no use cramming the place with too many furnitures. 

 8) Glitter Foam sheets : get it from a stationery shop. These are glittery sheets made of thin rubber foam. These are cheap and easily available in many colours and you can use these to cut out baby’s name, or to frame the pictures you want to hang, or just cut out few cute big hearts out of these and hang them around the room 

9) Pom Poms / Banners : buy some Crepe paper sheets and make big poms poms out of them, tie together a bunch of these and hang from the ceiling. Make two such bunches and that is enough to liven up the room. Cut out some banners and hang them across the room, these two things are fairly easy to make and are so low cost, yet these are a favourite decoration essential. You can find a pompom and banner making tutorial online easily.

10) Colours : I preferred using as many colours as possible for a baby’s room, as I don’t believe in the blue and pink divide, but please do keep the colour scheme as one if you like doing that.

Activities for developing Fine Motor Skills using things around the house : ages 6-18 months 


Here is an Example of how Fine motor skills are developed, baby uncorking and screwing the bottle top.  When children imitate and learn to do day to day activities. It is not always necessary to only rely on specific tools or toys. Your child will try to do things on his own in his environment and all these actions are in a way developing his motor skills. Though we play with large puzzles and blocks (he is more into breaking than stacking though) and rings on a stick kind of activities, but the things that he does which are normal activities for us adults are all helping him develop said motor skills. He can do simple activities like uncorking bottles, opening and closing drawers ( though that is the one gives me the most amount of pain😭😭😭), pouring water from his bottle, handing us things, drinking from a glass, eating with a spoon, ( less eating more spilling), picking up his toys, opening various boxes, holding a pen, pushing the buttons of the remote( another pain 😭, I have found a way out for that one though, I give him a dummy remote while I am watching something 😈😈😈) All these activities are helping him develop his motor skills, letting him grasp the technique of using his hands and eyes in a coordinated way, learning to use his fingers and thumbs in coordination. So let them explore around the house, let them follow you while you go about your day, and let them try out new things, certainly keeping an eye on them all the while, and in no time you will be amazed to see how much your baby has already learnt, how easily he is grasping things, the baby who used to sleep with his arms stretched over his head on both sides like a statue can now pour water in his glass and drink on his own.

Here are a few activities you can do with your baby with basic house hold objects which will help them their motor skills.

7-12 months 

* When babies start crawling they learn to balance themselves on their arms. Let them get on their hands and knees and explore. 

* Help them learn the pinch and grasp with the fingers by giving them small toys or blocks, let them hold it with their finger

* Offer small finger foods once you start solids like carrots, potatoes etc which baby can pick up and take up to his mouth. This is a fine learning for hand, eye coordination too and also a development of his motor skills

* Give them to play with push button toys which make noise and light up, they will love to push the buttons to see it light up

* Read picture books to them while pointing out to pictures while doing so, baby will learn to point at the pictures soon enough

* Give them pots and pans and a spoon or ladle with which to bang on it, yeah, it will make a lot of noise, but it will teach him how to hit and bang at the pot to make sound

* Sing rhymes with wide hand actions to them, our fav was twinkle twinkle little star and baby A learned to imitate the action right from he was around 8 months old. He himself would do some of it with us

* Give them crayons and let them just scribble on a paper

* Do finger painting with some home made colours; you can use veggies like spinach, beets, or turmeric etc

* Let them put their hands in the colours and just dab it all around, most of it will go on their bodies though 🙄, no worries that calls for a hot tub bath 😊

* And in the tub give him squeezy toys and tumbler to help learn how to pour water

* You can give him paper to rip, it will help develop his skills and coordination. Jus use some scrap paper but be careful as baby will put the said paper in mouth after tearing

* Show him how to clap, do hi-fives, bye bye and give a flying kiss. Constant repetition is the key here. In some time your baby will learn to perform these actions himself

12-18 months

* Let them eat with a small spoon, of course there will be more spills and less eating but this involves a lot of hand and eye and fine motor skills, holding a spoon upright and correctly manoeuvring the spoon into his mouth will teach him all of that

* Give them some crayons and let them draw dots and lines , show them how and let them try

* Stack boxes, blocks, tumbler, anything can work here. Stacking is an important skill enhancement, you can use empty boxes around the house like tissue boxes too

* Let him drink from a tumbler, though again a lot of spillage but yes this is also a fine development activity

* Point and read books with him

* Point at various things around at house and name them, like the fridge, the tv. Slowly start asking your toddler to point and show you these things. Pointing is another skill 

* Give him a sponge while bathing and let him squeeze water from it

* Give him nesting bowls to play with. My favourite are measuring cups and spoons

* Give him bottles to uncork and screw on

* Give boxes with simple lids for him to open, simple activities like opening the box of cookies can be great fun for a toddler 

* Give him a treasure box, filled with things he uses daily, or things from around the house, like his spoon, bottles, brushes, sponge, keys, blocks, soft toys, balls etc, try to include various textures in the box then let him pick them out while you name them 

* Show him how to drop small items into a large open box, like balls and blocks 

* Let him wash hands on his own while you hold him on the sink

* Let him dry his hands on towel

* Let him try to put on his socks and shoes 

These simple activities around the house are the perfect way for your baby to learn fine motor skills. Let them explore around the house and be independent while enhancing their skills in handling these small activities.

Confessions of an #avgmom

Raising a #toddler #parenting stories 

Project : 50 Toddler snacks by an #avgmom No.7 : Banana, Spinach, Whole wheat & Yoghurt Muffins 

Hello, Today I want to share with you guys the recipe of a super healthy muffin. One which uses banana, spinach, curd and whole wheat, I mean it doesnot get healthier than this. And as weird as the combination may sound, the muffins taste very nice, trust me on this one. They are mildly sweet and you will really love the taste of these. Infact, hubby man, who is the bigger child around the house, loved these muffins too, and he absolutely hates vegetables. Yeah, tell me about it, I have my work cut out for me. Infact when I first met him, the only thing he used to eat were potatoes. Though they are very good too, but avoiding other vegetables completely is not good at all. Well he is much changed now and does eat a lot of greens. But when he saw me putting spinach into muffins he literally started making faces 😂  and cried “why are you putting spinach in muffins, spare those at least.” 

But once these were done, he did have a change of heart and actually ate two, and then told me that had he not seen the spinach he would not have guessed it was in there. Yo hoo. 

I am quite late in posting the recipe, and if you have followed me on my insta feed you will know we have been pretty busy with baby A starting daycare and all other stuff. Here is a link to my instagram account https://www.instagram.com/theavgmom/

In between I have made these muffin three times already and it comes out awesome each time. Another great thing about this muffin is that you can refrigrate a few from the batch and use them as tiffin or snack over a couple of days. It stays good.

Ohh and by the way I have made a video of it this time. Yay me. But unable to put text in the videos yet. I have to learn that. But if you want to check it out, here is the link ;

Do follow and subscribe to my account if you want me to post more video recipes. Coz, then I will do some research and stuff and will learn how to make better videos with texts and subtitles etc 😜

Here is the recipe: 

Prep Time : 15 mins

Cooking Time : 20 mins + cooling time

Makes 15 muffins approx 

Ingredients: 

* Whole wheat flour – 2 cups 

* Baby spinach leaves – 2 cups 

* Medium ripe bananas – 2

* Plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt) – 1/2 cup

*Baking powder – 2 tsp

* Baking soda – 1/2 tsp

* Eggs – 2 

* Granulated Sugar – 1/2 cup

* Salt – 1 pinch

* Olive or canola oil – 1/4 cup

* zest of lemon – 1

* vanilla – 1 tsp


Method

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Whisk the eggs until fluffy and then add in sugar

4. Add the oil, yogurt, lemon zest and vanilla into the eggs

5. Mash the banana with a spoon and add to the wet mixture.

6. Wash and Blend the spinach leaves in a food processor or chop them extremely fine. 

7. Add to the wet mixture and mix well.

8. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold it all in until combined. Don’t over mix.

9. Buter a muffin tin or moulds.

10. Put the batter into the cups,  filling them upto the top.

11. Bake at 350 degree Celcius for 20 minutes


12. Insert a toothpick into the center to see if it comes out clean.

13. Remove  and let cool. 

Baby A loves these and I love to see him bite into one of these with his small teeth. He likes these and it is a perfect evening snack for him. In fact you can use it as a tiffin snack too. These are nutritious and power packed. And I love these too, because it is absolutely guilt free. Give them a try, I am sure you will love them. And if you like my recipes, please do subscribe to my blog, else you can follow my fb page too, where I update all my recipes. 

http://www.facebook.com/avgmom/

Confessions of an #avgmom

Raising a #toddler